I read a book recently that was all about mindfulness and how to keep yourself ahead of the pack. Whilst the book was full of spelling mistakes and grammar errors (massively ironic, I know), it did bring up a few good points that got me thinking and subsequently inspired this post.
The book is called One Second Ahead by Rasmus Hougaard and it mentions many ways in which you can stay in front of the daily rat race by doing little things that either improve your life or open the doors which allow that to happen. One of the points they mention is emails.
We all know what they are. I’m pretty sure if you are reading this that you have, at some point in your life, received and consequently replied to an email. Seems pretty straightforward and that should be it, right? Wrong.
According to some studies the modern human has another addiction to add to the list with all the others and it’s called ’email addiction’. The definition is as follows: “Email dependency is principally the same as any other type of dependency. When you receive a grateful message from a client, praise from your boss, an interesting article or a funny joke, your brain releases dopamine — a neurotransmitter released in the brain that makes you feel good. Craving that lift from a nice or funny email creates a tendency to check your email more and more often”.
The book doesn’t mention it, and I am not a scientist, but I would imagine that social media with all its ‘likes’ and ‘retweets’ has the same kind of effect on our psyche.
Now to link everything together: I understand that we cannot live in this day and age without emails and we will not be going very far from our phones and computers any time soon. If what the studies suggest is true and we do get a lift every time we send an email or reply to a WhatsApp message, then I think that it is a beneficial process. This is especially true with so many people travelling away from their families and all the students abroad that need to keep in touch. But let us not forget what else is out there. Go for a walk, enjoy the natural beauty of the city you find yourself in at this very moment, for you might not have the opportunity to see it again. Don’t ask for the WiFi code as soon as you sit down at a restaurant but rather have a chat with the people that you came there with. Just don’t forget to reply to that email at some point because you may be the 1 000 000th customer and your reward could be just a click away. But it’s probably just your boss.